High-fat diet, calcium may increase prostate cancer risk

September 10, 2002 in Cancer Prevention, Men's Health, Nutrition Topics in the News, Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements

High-fat diet, calcium may increase prostate cancer risk

New research from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington has linked a high-fat, high-calcium diet to an increased risk of advanced prostate cancer. The study also found that a higher total calorie intake raised the risk of both localized and more advanced prostate cancer.

This suggests that modifying diet after prostate cancer treatment could help reduce the risk that cancer will return.

The findings clearly show a decreased risk for late-stage disease in men with diets that are low in fat and moderate in calcium, perhaps because these diets slow progression of prostate cancer into more aggressive disease. For men diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer, the findings suggest that moderating fat and calcium consumption may reduce the risk of cancer recurrence following treatment.

The researchers collected data on 605 men with prostate cancer and on 592 healthy men. All were 40 to 64 years old. The researchers investigated whether prostate cancer risk might be linked to total dietary energy, fat, calcium and vitamin D.

Higher calorie intake was linked to an increased prostate cancer risk, the investigators found. Compared with the lowest level of energy intake of fewer than 1,322 calories per day, men with the highest calorie intake--2,439 calories daily or more-were about twice as likely to develop local or more advanced prostate cancer.

Fat intake was associated only with more advanced cancer. Men with the highest fat intake had about double the risk of developing advanced prostate cancer compared to men with the lowest intake.

While higher calcium intake was associated with a 7% increased risk of localized prostate cancer, the risk of advanced cancer was more than doubled in these men compared to men with the lowest calcium intake.

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